Published: Wed, October 17, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Iranian border guards kidnapped in the border with Pakistan

Iranian border guards kidnapped in the border with Pakistan

Iran's Shi'ite Muslim authorities say militant groups operate from safe havens in Pakistan.

The official said some of the security forces were members of Basij volunteer paramilitary force, a part of the Revolutionary Guards.

Sistan-Baluchestan has always been a flashpoint, with Pakistan-based Balochi separatists and armed groups carrying out regular cross-border raids against Iranian security posts.

The official IRNA news agency said the border guards were "abducted between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m.in the Lulakdan area of the border by a terrorist group".

Fourteen Iranian security personnel, including Revolutionary Guards intelligence officers, were abducted on the volatile southeastern border with Pakistan on Tuesday, state media reported.

The area has seen occasional clashes between Iranian forces and Baluch separatists, as well as drug traffickers.

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In 2012, Jundullah members formed a successor organization called Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), which has carried out a spate of attacks on the security forces. Some media reports said 11 had been taken hostage, others put the number at 14, but the FO statement said they were 12 in number.

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif phoned his Pakistani counterpart on Wednesday to discuss the situation arising from the abduction of 14 Iranian guards near the Pak-Iran border point of Mirjaveh on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the IRGC through a statement asked the Pakistan government to take immediate measures to trace the Iranian guards and "put up a serious fight against bandits and terrorists who have nested along Pakistan's borders and are supported and used by certain reactionary countries of the region".

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry expressed concern over the abductions, and said both militaries were trying to determine the captives' whereabouts.

In September, militants disguised as soldiers opened fire on a military parade in Iran's oil-rich southwest, killing 24 people and wounding more than 60. Iran blamed Saudi Arabia and the UAE for that attack.

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